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Josiah Royce in Focus

Jacquelyn Ann K. Kegley

Publication Year: 2008

This new approach to Josiah Royce shows one of American philosophy's brightest minds in action for today's readers. Although Royce was one of the towering figures of American pragmatism, his thought is often considered in the wake of his more famous peers. Jacquelyn Ann K. Kegley brings fresh perspective to Royce's ideas and clarifies his individual philosophical vision. Kegley foregrounds Royce's concern with contemporary public issues and ethics, focusing in particular on how he addresses long-standing problems such as race, religion, community, the dangers of mass media, mass culture, and blatant individualistic capitalism. She offers a deep and fruitful philosophical exploration of Royce's ideas on conflict resolution, memory, self-identity, and self-development. Kegley's keen understanding and appreciation of Royce reintroduces him to a new generation of scholars and students.

Published by: Indiana University Press

Series: American Philosophy


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pp. xi

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pp. xiii-xv

This book had its beginning some years ago when I was a graduate student at Columbia University. There my mentor and teacher, Justus Buchler, suggested that I explore Royce’s views on science. I remain eternally grateful for this suggestion as I continue to fi nd in Royce’s voluminous writings new and relevant insights for contemporary issues. ...

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pp. xvii

Again, my profound thanks goes to those scholars such as John McDermott, Frank Oppenheim, John Clendenning, Randy Auxier, and Scott Pratt, as well as the members of the Josiah Royce Society, who continue to work to bring Royce’s thought alive in this time and place and for the future. ...

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1. Royce as a Frontier Californian and Intellectual Pioneer

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pp. 1-20

This biographical sketch of Josiah Royce will focus on some of his ideas and character traits, centered on two themes: Royce as a bridge builder and as a seeker of “insight.” These foci include exploration of the following sub-themes: (1) philosophy as refl ection on life as experienced in all its richness, variety, conflict, and unity; ...

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2. The Self

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pp. 21-43

Royce’s psychological and philosophical reflections provide us in the contemporary philosophical scene a wealth of fruitful and relevant ideas. Royce’s ideas resonate well with the current concern for basing philosophical reflections on empirical matters arising out of the psychological and biological sciences. ...

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3. Royce’s Ethical Theory

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pp. 44-65

This discussion of Royce’s ethical theory begins with his 1880 essay “Tests of Right and Wrong”1 and treats various expressions and refinements of his main ideas up and through his 1916 course on ethics, further exploring the continuity and flow of Royce’s thought as well as the interconnections among his various concerns ...

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4. Religious Insight, the Spirit of Community, and the Reality of Evil

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pp. 66-97

In The Religious Aspect of Philosophy Royce writes: “Religion invites the scrutiny of philosophy, and philosophy may not neglect the problems of religion.”1 We recall from the first chapter that Royce’s father and mother were religious people, although their temperaments in this regard were quite different. ...

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5. Developing Genuine Individuals and Communities

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pp. 98-135

Royce’s refl ections on concrete problems of the human community provide a framework for a new approach to social and political issues. First, Royce fully engages the central issue of individualism versus collectivism, the individual versus the demands of social order. Like Nietzsche, Royce honored the individual, noble, courageous self ...

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6. The Thought of Josiah Royce

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pp. 136-162

Royce provides many insights for contemporary thought and life. The amazing depth of his interests and experience yields a rich treasure that is key to dealing with public issues such as race, diversity, immigration problems, religious understanding and diversity, conflict and community building, self-development and self-alienation, ...


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pp. 163-196


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pp. 197-206


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pp. 207-214

Back cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780253000729
E-ISBN-10: 0253000726
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253352408

Page Count: 240
Illustrations: 1 b&w photos
Publication Year: 2008

Series Title: American Philosophy